## Abstract

Here we develop a completely nonparametric method for comparing two groups on a set of longitudinal measurements. No assumptions are made about the form of the mean response function, the covariance structure or the distributional form of disturbances around the mean response function. The solution proposed here is based on the realization that every longitudinal data set can also be thought of as a collection of survival data sets where the events of interest are level crossings. The method for testing for differences in the longitudinal measurements then is as follows: for an arbitrarily large set of levels, for each subject determine the first time the subject has an upcrossing and a downcrossing for each level. For each level one then computes the log rank statistic and uses the maximum in absolute value of all these statistics as the test statistic. By permuting group labels we obtain a permutation test of the hypothesis that the joint distribution of the measurements over time does not depend on group membership. Simulations are performed to investigate the power and it is applied to the area that motivated the method-the analysis of microarrays. In this area small sample sizes, few time points and far too many genes to consider genuine gene level longitudinal modeling have created a need for a simple, model free test to screen for interesting features in the data.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 271-278 |

Number of pages | 8 |

Journal | Biostatistics |

Volume | 6 |

Issue number | 2 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 2005 |

## Keywords

- Level crossing problems
- Longitudinal analysis
- Microarrays
- Nonparametric tests
- Survival analysis